Snails cause no delay to projects
XSTRATA'S proposed Wandoan coal project and the Surat Basin Rail development will not be slowed by a two-year delay on the Nathan Dam project.
Central Telegraph revealed that work on the dam's feasibility study had been frozen for at least two years while scientists attempt to relocate a group of 100 critically endangered snails.
The boggomoss snail habitat, at Mount Rose would be under water if the dam wall went up and scientists are trialing a program to relocate the snails to a safer area.
Xstrata communications manager James Rickards said they planned to obtain water from one of three options - Glebe Weir on the Dawson River, Southern coal seam methane water from the Condamine Power Station and coal seam methane water from Origin Energy's Reverse Osmosis Plant at Spring Creek.
“While Nathan Dam was considered as an option for water supply during the concept study, we concluded it would not be available in time for the opening of the mine and we therefore constructed our analysis based on other sources of water.
He said Xstrata was committed to progressing the Wandoan Coal Project through State and Commonwealth Government approval processes.
“We are currently putting together our supplementary EIS, which will be published in the second half of 2009.”
He said the feasibility of the Wandoan project would be determined by the economic climate, thermal coal outlook and infrastructure plans and costs, particularly the Surat Basin Rail, QR Network upgrade to Gladstone and export coal terminals.
Similarly, the boggomoss snail or the dam delay, will have no impact on the Surat Basin Rail project.
A project spokesperson said 33 public submissions were received after the draft EIS was released.
“The Joint Venture is currently developing a Supplementary EIS Report to address the specific matters raised (in these submissions).
Last week Member for Callide Jeff Seeney slammed the State Government for using a handful of snails as an excuse to postpone the dam project.
Mr Seeney said he believed the Labor Government had run out of money.